Even as political parties and women’s groups in Nagaland are gearing up for the urban local body polls on February 1, 2017 with a 33-per cent reservation for women, apex tribal bodies including village councils are opposing it. The apex tribal bodies in the state, including Naga Hoho and its constituent units, as well as village councils have opposed to the polls with women reservation, a spokesman said.
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A crucial meeting of the Naga Hoho is likely to be held before the filing of nomination commences.
Kohima Village Council, which does not fall under the Kohima municipality but is the landowner of almost all the wards under Kohima Municipal Council (KMC), also held a crucial meeting today.
However, due to mixed reactions, it was inconclusive and the final call would be taken on January 2, said an insider. The apex tribal body in Kohima, Angami Public Organisation, is also scheduled to have a threadbare discussion on the issue on the same day, it said.
The Nagaland government, through the State Election Commission, had notified on December 21 that the polls to the municipalities and town councils will be held on February 1, 2017 with 33 per cent women reservation.
The ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) has already finalised its list of candidates for almost all the urban local bodies, except Dimapur and Mokokchung municipal councils and Peren and Tuensang town councils, party sources said.
The NPF will also be fielding women candidates in all the reserved seats, they said, adding that the final list of poll nominees has already been dispatched to the respective district units of the party and it would be distributed on dates convenient to them.
On the other hand, Congress, which has already released its poll manifesto, is yet to finalise its candidates, while BJP is also gearing up to contest the polls.
Both the national parties, it is learnt, would be fielding women aspirants.
Meanwhile, the Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA), which had put pressure on the government for women reservation by contesting the matter in the Supreme Court and finally achieved it after almost five years, has expressed happiness over the government notification of holding municipal polls with the reservation.
NMA chief Abeiu Meru said, “Since we are not a political party, we will not be fielding any candidate in the reserved seats. But, we are glad that many women aspirants have come forward to contest as Independents as well as through various political parties. We hope the parties would field the best women candidates.”